Can Casillas do it?

SMC Men’s Track Team Advances to So. Cal Finals

The Southern California Track and Field Championships ran at San Diego Mesa College this last Saturday, and Francisco Casillas led the pack for Santa Monica College by qualifying for the finals in both the individual 400 meter and with the rest of his 4X100 meter relay team.

“I was very proud of them,” said Head Track Coach Larry Silva. “It was very competitive here in track and field especially at the junior colleges, it’s incredible. There are a lot of Division I scholarship times and every single weekend they have been posting records like crazy. Francisco had to post a record to qualify and he posted it.”

“We did well in the 4X100 and we advanced to the Southern California Finals,” said Casillas, captain of the SMC Track team. “We didn’t run as well as we should have but we still advanced which is the main goal.”

Anchor leg Marcus Johnson believed the team could have done better in the 4X100, as precious time was lost during the passing of the baton.

“As far as our 4X100 goes, we could have run a much better time,” said Johnson. “I took off early because they put blue tape on the blue track and that kind of bothered with my vision a bit.”

In his individual 100 meter, Johnson was actually looking to go faster than his time of 10.66 that he had clocked the week before, but he only posted a 10.80 at the meet, placing fourth in his heat.

“In the 100, we didn’t have that much luck due to a technicality,” said Casillas. “Our 100 meter, Marcus Johnson, didn’t qualify. He ran fast enough, but they only take the top three in each heat, and he wasn’t able to make it.”

Casillas was able to advance to the final round of the individual men’s 400 meter clocking a time of 48.1, placing second in the heat, and having the fifth best overall time in the individual men’s 400 meter.

According to Silva, Casillas is ranked 7th in the State and most of the fast runners are coming from Southern California.

In order for Casillas to continue, he’s going to have to take at least a fourth place at the Southern California Finals.

“I know he has the capacity to do it,” said Silva. “He’s run a 46.2 in practice and that would be the 2nd fastest time in the state.”

The Southern California Finals will be held at San Diego Mesa College this Saturday with the top qualifiers advancing to the State Championships at Cerritos College the following weekend.